Shrieking with flails and flops
My small fat fish dove towards my breast and
submerged, drinking with puffed cheeks, a chin slick with saliva, and muffled mumbles.
Comfortably captured, I listened to the sound of cars and felt the heavy lull of the midday sun until her sparkling eyes caught mine.
Then suddenly she flipped back with a wriggle into an ocean of sleep
until we feed again
Bright birds, calling into the night.
Voices rising above the din.
Over the dreary hum of sleepy machines.
Were it not for your waking warble
I would find myself lulled to sleep
nestled in a pocket of warmth
deep in a moment of time
before I must open my eyes,
and move with resignation at the appropriate pace
in measured steps
towards an unbearable cold.
You brought a candle,
I offered a match.
I dip my fingers into hot, melting wax.
The evidence of my mischief?
The dried remains of a once burning light
wax drips on coats
Glove fingers and cotton pants.
Oh right, my fingers were cold.
The cold got into my bones.
So deep the burning began.
Into the marrow.
Froze my blood.
Blistered my brain.
What is hot wax but a possibility to feel?
I remember cloth shoes on little sockless feet.
So numb from the fall rain.
When Papa and I finally got to the YMCA.
Alone in the women’s change room I gingerly took of my cloth shoes.
Purchased well before I knew what keds were.
I still have never held a pair.
I remember the feeling of hot water waking my childish feet from the cold.
Hot water delicious and unending
Childhood memories come back to me.
Dust covered Sailor Moon Cards.
The frenzy that is your heart.
Humidity and wet slow a flurry of movement. Finding your soft warm skin tucked under your soaked snow jacket.
Your wet jeans.
Your slightly shrunk white and red plaid button down.
Your poorly choosen sneakers.
Your hands went numb well before your shoes soaked through.
Your eyes were wild, but you will get there and not lose any limbs.
It was like the snow, the blanket that was the snow. The whiteness of a solid sky and the complete lack of sound was trying to drown you were you paused.
So you are left with the frenzy in your heart, driving you forward as you ache for a destination beyond a home that feels like a pitstop.
Home home home a promise encased by so much snow
I don’t think people know the many and strange entangled reasons a young woman would get into the car to be whisked off into danger by a white man twice her age.
To talk to them on the internet.
There are things far more dangerous than any one man, life for one.
But then you look over and realize you might be left alone with him, and question if you are walking away from death or towards it.
Also, what about those of us without escape? Where home is a safe slow stumble and life is a basket of blanket stares, longing and fear?
We have parking lots. Not cottages. We had gravel and tim horton’s at 2 am.
We sat in our parents car for as long as possible just to be alone.
We took baths. We took showers. We slept.
We hid in our minds.
Secrets became refuge.
Always watched, but so unheard. A thousand bruises went unnoticed as your parents locked the door, closed the blinds, and turned off the light to keep you safe.
Then you become an adult, and anywhere could be a possibility, but you that cage of your youth feels like a tomb drawing in.
i am a self sustaining woman.
i am not clingy, and I don’t text too much.
i am a self sustaining woman, I don’t eat too much, in fact you never see me eat. I promise to buy the cheapest things when you take me out and only get drunk enough to be enjoyable.
i am a self sustaining woman.
i never complain or rant about how I feel. I am a mystery to you often.
i am a self sustaining women, one day I grew so empty that air filled me and I began to float.
i am a self sustaining woman, my organs are dust and I can’t stop watching the world turn and turn.
i am a self sustaining woman, my faint shadow trickles down my chapped legs skin cracked from the sun.
i am self sustaining woman
i float and wait for the others to join me